Intel Cranks Mobile Pentium III to 700MHz

SAN FRANCISCO (04/24/2000) - Intel Corp. boosted the speed of its notebook PC chips today with the launch of new mobile Pentium III and mobile Celeron processors.

For high-end notebooks, the company launched a mobile Pentium III that runs at up to 700MHz using Intel's proprietary SpeedStep technology. SpeedStep allows a chip to run at different clock speeds depending on whether a notebook is running on batteries or plugged into a power supply.

On batteries, the new Pentium III operates at 550MHz. When the notebook is plugged into a power supply, the processor automatically jumps up to 700MHz, Intel said in a statement.

Gateway 2000 Inc. launched two portables today that use the new processor. The Solo 2550 includes an integrated DVD or CD-ROM drive and starts at $2,399. The Solo 9300, which features a larger, 15.7-inch display, starts at $3,499, Gateway said.

Intel launched its first two SpeedStep chips in January, running at 600MHz and 650MHz in full power mode.

Rival chip makers Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) and Transmeta Corp. are each readying their own technologies for adjusting the voltage and clockspeed of their mobile chips. AMD calls its technology PowerNow, while Transmeta's is dubbed LongRun.

Also today for low-cost notebooks, Intel boosted the speed of its fastest mobile Celeron processor from 500MHz to 550MHz.

In 1,000 unit quantities, the mobile Pentium III processor at 700MHz is priced at US$562. The mobile Intel Celeron processor at 550 MHz is $170 in the same quantities.

Separately today, Intel said it is gearing up the next generation of its flash memory chips for release later this year.

Flash memory differs from standard memory in its ability to retain data after a device is powered off, and is widely used in mobile phones and other portable appliances. Flash was the fastest growing memory segment in 1999, and demand is expected to grow 34 percent to $5.5 billion in 2000, according to recent figures from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA).

Intel will switch to a more advanced 0.18-micron manufacturing process to build its flash memory chips, the company said today. The new memory products will allow manufacturers to build more cost-effective devices by eliminating the need for additional security chips or multiple flash devices, according to Intel.

Samples of the new 0.18-micron "Advanced+ Boot Block" flash memory chips in 32M-bit density are now available, with volume production slated for this fall, Intel said.

Intel, based in Santa Clara, California, can be contacted at +1-408-765-8080, or at http://www.intel.com/.

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